Public transport stakeholders will meet this week to review the implementation of new regulations, which some operators want suspended.
Matatu operators in the Mount Kenya region want the government to suspend the introduction of tamper-proof speed governors, saying there were not enough specialists in Kenya to fit the gadgets.
“The government is introducing new technologies on tight compliance deadlines without considering market variables that determine accessibility and affordability,” said Mt Kenya Region Matatu Owners Association secretary-general Milkah Kariuki.
Ms Kariuki said the gadget was in short supply, and that with more than 100,000 vehicles required to install it, prices would be exploitative.
“We would like the deadline given on the new devices to be extended by at least one year instead of the three- month ultimatum that has been issued,” said Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua.
Depending on the horsepower of a vehicle’s engine, the speed governor will cost between Sh40,000 and Sh100,000.
Ms Kariuki said the government should first gazette certified dealers and ensure adequate supply before directing the operators to fit them in vehicles.
The National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) has given all matatu and PSV owners up to the end of next month to fit their vehicles with the speed gadgets. The new devices, which will adopt the use of GPRS technology, will be able to record speed.
The data can be retrieved from the gadget to establish if an accident was caused by speeding, which is one of the major causes of road accidents in the country.
The new laws which were enforced late last year saw the introduction of night travel rules that do not allow long distance public transport vehicles to operate past 9pm.
But operators can apply for a special night travel permit after meeting stringent conditions. The application costs Sh3,000.
“The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will consider applications for night operations from public transport operators who have fully complied with the new regulations,” said Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau in an interview last week.
Some of the requirements are new speed governors and two drivers for every bus, working on eight -hour shifts.
Source: Business Daily